Saturday, December 29, 2012

Reflections on 2012 - the year of the dragon

As I write this there are only two more full days left of 2012. It’s amazing how quickly this year came and breezed past me especially these past two months from Thanksgiving to Christmas. One weekend I’m picking out and decorating a tree and hanging lights and the next my family is here celebrating the holiday. Chad and I are fortunate to have family who travels to see us over Christmas. My sister and her husband live in San Diego, my in-laws live in Michigan and my brother, mom and dad live in Alabama. This year everyone but my dad came out and it was a full house at the Magee B&B. While it can get chaotic at times, especially when we had my two year old nephew running around and a total of four dogs (two of which we were pet sitting) I wouldn’t have it any other way. I think I have a little Clark Griswold in me from Christmas Vacation – I want all my family under one roof and the perfect Christmas.

My sister and her husband had to work on Christmas eve so they were able to come out before the holiday and spend some time skiing and playing in the mountains before coming to our house. While we didn’t have too much time over the weekend with them we managed to at least fit in a trip to the infamous Casa Bonita (for those of you who watch South Park anyways will recognize it):

My mom and brother braved stand-by traveling and after a shuttle to Atlanta, delayed flight to Austin and late arrival into Denver, they finally made it to our house. While it was a day later than intended it was amazing to have them here as well where we alternated our time between enjoying walks in the snow, playing Cards Against Humanity and cooking. My mom mage a great soup for us to eat on Christmas Eve and then her and my brother cooked the majority of the food on Christmas day.
Anyone who knows me knows I am not much of a cook so to have my family not only around but cooking for me was a wonderful treat.

As sad as I was to see everyone leave, I was happy that each and every one of our family members made it home safely and with no drama and hassle. So the house quiets down to just one extra dog and my husband and I as we prepare for the year ahead.

New Year’s always tends to be anticlimactic and despite my best intentions year after year it never turns out quite as I want it to be. Last year we ended up celebrating at our house after a failed attempt to fly standby to Florida with our friends Lyndee and Mark and I should have taken it as a sign that this would be a year that not everything would turn out as I thought it would or should be.

2012 was the year of the Dragon in the Chinese calendar. I talked a lot about the year of the Dragon and what is symbolized in my first few yoga classes of the year that I taught. You see this was supposed to be a year of epic successes and fatal failures. A year that moved by quickly. Much like the dragon’s body there were to be great arching highs and substantial lows; a year where the love and energy that you put in would be returned ten-fold and the negativity energy returned like poison. Looking back on this year I see it was all this and then some for me.

I started the year taking spin and kettlebell teacher training at my gym. I went from teaching one yoga class a day to two then due to other teachers leaving acquired a spin class and a kettlebell barre class. Of the two original yoga classes one was taken away, but then I was offered two more which brought me to teaching five classes a week at one gym and one a month at another. The energy I put in to teaching was returned to me times ten as promised by the year. The more classes I took and the stronger I became the more energy I was able to pass on and the more students grew to know me. I learned a strategy that has benefited me tremendously which was – if you can’t get your existing friends to come take your classes then make friends with the people who do. I went to Costa Rica on a yoga teacher training retreat and into the fire when we left I put in worry and self doubt and took home with me a courageous spirit and melted heart. Both have lasted longer than the suntan.

This was the summer of celebrating my 31st birthday in Mexico, my friend Lisa’s wedding, traveling to Walloon Lake Michigan, and my sister and her husband's 30th birthday celebration in San Diego. I hiked seven fourteeners, one of which was in a mountain range I hadn’t visited yet – the Sangre De Cristos and the two others were my first adventure into class three hiking. I found some amazing hiking companions that I hadn’t yet had the pleasure of hiking with and wouldn’t have wanted to spend my weekends home any other way. Meeting new hiking friends also took me to different areas of the state to hike in that weren’t necessarily 14ers and allowed me to challenge myself physically and mentally.
puerta vallarta

wedding in DC

Handies Peak - just found out I was pregnant before this hike!

Long's Peak

wetterhorn peak


dock yoga at Walloon
San Diego bday celebration

While my flight attendant job remained pretty much the same as it has the past 7 years, I flourished at my gym and had many opportunities presented to me that I took advantage of. I became a mentor to a group of yoga teacher trainees and supported them on their journey to become teachers. They taught me even more than I think I could have taught them and through their journey I was allowed to be humbled by my own struggles and uncertainty. For anyone to get up in front of a room of people and spill your heart while hoping to inspire it’s a daunting task. I learned to speak from my heart this year instead of what I read in books and in the past few months I’ve had more students cry and confide in me that I opened up something deep inside them than I ever have before.

And another important shift in my life helped opened up my eyes and my world as well and that was becoming pregnant. It’s no surprise to those close to me by now that this was not what I expected from this year. But it’s the year of the dragon – things happened with such a quickness I did not expect. After finding out in August I’ll admit there were moments where I thought my life as I knew it was going to be over. I had to cancel plans to go to Costa Rica for the next teacher’s retreat in 2013 and I had to give up a big part of my social life which was drinking. What I didn’t know was how many people I would inspire with my journey along the way. I have had so many women at the gym confide in me that they work harder because they see me working hard. Some of them are pregnant and some are not. Some are just finding out they are pregnant and haven’t even told their families but want to share with me. Some have already had their children and are struggling to get back in shape. So many stories and so many faces and names that I never would have learned without becoming pregnant myself. I am humbled and thankful. I have grown closer to some of my friends from taking a step on the same path they have chosen and I have grown apart from others because my life is moving down a different path. It’s definitely been a year of highs and lows.
trimester one

trimester two

So as I stand teetering on the edge of 2012 I reflect back on all the abundance it has brought to me. Some of it self created and some of which are blessings I didn’t even ask for but am happy to have received. I know I wouldn’t be where I am without the strong backing of not only my friends but my family and everyone who has believed in me. The year of the dragon has bestowed more successes than failures on me and I hope the same is true for many of my loved ones.

My resolution for last year was to “resolve to evolve.” It’s a broad resolution but to me it basically meant not staying stagnant and moving forward in a quest to constantly re-invent myself. I think I accomplished this task pretty well as I look back over 2012. This year I am resolving to surrender to the journey. My life as I know it is about to change and I know there will be many factors beyond my control. My hope is to do the best I can and handle everything the best way I know how. I may not be able to travel as much next year or hike as many peaks as I’d like but my family of two is about to become a family of three and I can’t be selfish anymore. I have enjoyed many years of being selfish and having my time as my own and now it’s time to surrender to the year of the snake. The Chinese believe the snake stays in a coil so as not to show it’s whole body and give away it’s secrets and that’s exactly how I believe 2013 will be – a year to be coiled inside myself, lying in wait for what’s to come.  

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

What you don't expect when expecting

This week marks the 24th in my pregnancy. For those of you who don’t compute your time in weeks that’s 6 months. Officially this is the last week in my second trimester and there are approximately 113 more days to go. As I was telling my friend and future doula Casey today I am in a state of contentment. I have accepted the pregnancy although most days I don’t “feel” pregnant and at the same time I’m in no hurry to get it over with. I am relishing sleeping in, time with my friends and husband, working out and all the things in my life that come easy now before I have this baby on the outside. I am in a place where I am enjoying the journey.
This is my 23 not 24 week photo - those to come

This past weekend we had our 4th annual ugly sweater Christmas party. This is always a hit and has grown in the past few years from just a few of our close friends to friends of friends to taking over nearly an entire bar. To kick off the day my friends and I ran an ugly sweater 5k at City Park. As Kate says, to find people you like to drink with is one circle, to find people to work out with is another, to find people who like to do both – well that’s an even smaller circle yet. Hence the small group of us running together:

After the run the day was spent in preparation for the party that night. We pre-partied at a friends house and I must say I have taken to drinking non-alcoholic beer at these occasions. I find what I miss is not necessarily the drinking and the hangover (definitely not the hangover) but just the togetherness that drinking tends to bring. Also I really enjoy holding something in my hand. I don’t know maybe that’s why I never took to running but I have to have my hands doing something or I’m lost.
awkward family photo

Magee's like to party all the time

getting ready to release the kraken

egg nog advertisement

I bet this was a good hangover

The party ended up being a great success and I was happy at the turn out. Next year I hope we can make it even bigger and better (and certainly I apologize for the weird creepy DJ's) There were people there that I didn’t even expect to come and then there were those I expected to see that didn’t attend. I feel like with this pregnancy my group of friends is shifting. 
hula hooping was a great success

If you didn't make the group photo you probably left too early

Which brings me to what prompted me to write this blog to begin with – What I didn’t expect when expecting.

Having a baby is kind of like getting married. It brings you closer to some people and alienates you from others. I did not expect to get the cold shoulder from some people that I know. I am sure people who decide to stop drinking feel the same way. The truth is when you can’t drink (or chose not too) some people will start to leave you out and quit inviting you places. This sadness me because honestly if anyone had an excuse to not be there Saturday let alone host the party – it was me. If anyone had an excuse it would be me. And yet I was there. And ask anyone who was there I was smiling the whole time. I was dancing, and hula hooping and making a fool out of myself with the best of them. I talked from person to person and still didn’t feel like I got to talk to everyone enough. In short I had one of the best nights ever. I wasn’t angry I had to drive drunk people around I was happy to do it. I was happy to see everyone having such a great time. Best of all I remember everything I said, I remembered to take tons of photos and I didn’t feel like ass to teach spin the next morning. Was I sad that I couldn’t be drunk? Maybe a little but that didn’t mean I couldn’t be with my friends.

So to everyone who has continued to invite me to Happy Hours and parties – I freaking love you. I am pregnant not dead. Anyone who knows me knows I’d rather die than sit on my couch doing nothing. I am blessed to have had such an easy pregnancy and the ability to be out and about. This is the time when I need my friends. When I need to treasure these uninterrupted moments with them. When I need to get out and have fun and dance and talk and just enjoy being alive. I can honestly say I’m disappointed in some people in my life right now. But life changes really show you who those people who matter the most are. The ones who stick by your side and buy you non-alcoholic beer and sparkling wine and fruity cocktails and bring you cupcakes and work out with you and make you feel like a human being not someone who doesn’t deserve company. Those that run a race with you and keep up with YOU the whole way just because. You know who you are and thank you. It’s you who has made this pregnancy enjoyable because I know that when the day comes that I can be back in full form you’ll be there with me baby by my side (or driving MY drunk ass home).

6 months down. Where has the time gone….